As Leicester brushed Sunderland aside with a 2-0 win at the Stadium of Light, Arsenal’s slim title hopes faded further from view.
Although it’s not mathematically impossible, it would seem more than a little improbable now for anything other than a Leicester title win to happen.
The post-mortem for Arsenal’s season isn’t quite underway, but it isn’t far off.
So we thought we’d get the ball rolling with five things that Leicester did that Arsenal didn’t.
Kept all their key players fit
When it comes to injuries, Leicester seem to be invincible. If we take one player out injured for one week and give them one point, Leicester have amassed 71 injury points this season. Arsenal? 219.
Only Swansea have had fewer than the Foxes, totalling up an inhuman 38.
Didn’t buckle under pressure
To be fair, there hasn’t really been any pressure on Leicester all season which is a large part of why they’ve been able to remain consistent all season. Plus they didn’t have to play in Europe. Jesus, I sound like I’m reading from the Arsenal Excuse Manual.
Got consistent performances from all their top players
What would an effective Theo Walcott have added to this side this season? Or an Olivier Giroud who didn’t have confidence more brittle than Jack Wilshere’s ankles? What if all Arsenal’s players had turned up every week no matter who the opposition they way Leicester’s have?
What if, what if, what if.
No team in the Premier League have hit the woodwork more this season than Arsenal, who’ve managed to crack the frame of the goal an impressive 19 times.
In contrast, if Leicester had conceded a goal every time their opponent hit the post (12) they’d be 10 points worse off than they are right now, and that’s taking into consideration the 11 times they hit the frame of the goal and if those had gone in.
That’s pretty lucky.
As is the number of penalties they’ve won, though of course not all of those were for a Jamie Vardy dive but I can understand why you might think that.
Riyad Mahrez has won more penalties than anyone else (6) while Vardy is fourth with four. Arsenal, as a team, have had two.
Only Norwich and Sunderland have had fewer.
All this for a team that largely play on the counter-attack while Arsenal play intricate football in and around the box – the type that should, in a fair world, result in significantly more penalties.
And we know from watching week in, week out, it’s not because the opposition is just being careful against us.
Football at Leicester looks like fun.
Contrast that with Arsenal when it sometimes looks and feels like it is the hardest and most annoying thing on the planet. Leicester relaxed, did what they had to do and are set to reap the rewards.
It’s hard to enjoy their title win as much as we should given how Arsenal have let it slip from their hands.
But it’s history we’re all watching….as long as they don’t throw a massive wobbly and let Spurs claim it instead.
That would just make everything infinitely worse.